kids encyclopedia robot

Scott Joplin facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Scott Joplin
Scott Joplin 19072.jpg
Scott Joplin in June 1903. This picture also appears on the cover of "The Cascades" from 1904.
Background information
Birth name Scott Joplin
Also known as King of Ragtime Writers
Born c. late 1867 or early 1868 (death stone says 11-2-68)
Northeast Texas, U.S.
Origin Texarkana, Texas
Died April 1, 1917 (aged 49)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Genres Ragtime, march, waltz
Occupation(s) Composer, pianist, music teacher
Instruments Piano, cornet, guitar, mandolin, violin, banjo, vocals
Years active 1895–1917

Scott Joplin was an American ragtime musician and composer. He is widely considered the greatest ragtime composer of all time.

Early life

Joplin was born in the U.S. state of Texas sometime between June 1867 and January 1868 and grew up in Texarkana, Texas. His relatives were railroad workers. His father wanted him to find work that would pay. His mother said he should learn music. Even though he was from Texas, most of his pieces were written when he was in Missouri and New York City.

Musical career

Joplin is most well known for writing piano pieces called rags. His music became popular again in the 1970s, with the album Scott Joplin: Piano Rags, performed by Joshua Rifkin, from Nonesuch Records. He may be most commonly known now by the Marvin Hamlisch adaptation of his composition The Entertainer (1902) which was used in the 1973 movie The Sting starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford. His best-known song while he was alive was Maple Leaf Rag (1899). Other rags he wrote were The Ragtime Dance (1906) and Magnetic Rag (1914). Scott Joplin wrote more than 40 piano rags, but he also wrote two operas; A Guest of Honor and Treemonisha. A Guest of Honor was performed in Joplin's lifetime, but since then the music has been lost. Treemonisha was never performed while Joplin was alive, but it has been performed since then. Joplin also wrote a symphony, but the music has been lost.


Joplin died in New York City on April 1, 1917.

Images for kids

kids search engine
Scott Joplin Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.